Movie Review – Bill & Ted Face The Music

Last weekend one of the TV channels showed ‘Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey’, the second film of Bill & Ted made way back in 1991. I watched it with my six year old son and he liked it as much as me. Right now, the trilogy film is showing in the cinemas – ‘Bill & Ted Face The Music’. So when I asked Dani if he wanted to go and see it with me he didn’t hesitate.

First two films…

For those who don’t know (you really should check out the first two Bill & Ted movies) here is a quick recap.

The first movie was Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure . Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) are trying to write a history report. A dude called Rufus, arrives from the year 2688, and gives them a time machine – which is basically a telephone booth. This enables the them to travel back in time and meet historical figures in order to learn all the need about history. If Bill and Ted fail to pass, their teacher will kick them out of school and this would lead to their band –  Wyld Stallyns – never forming. It turns out that the Utopian future presented to them by this Rufus dude is built almost entirely around their yet to be made music and if they don’t form the band then it will never happen. Phew!

The two dopey metal-heads travel back in time to medieval England where they rescue two princesses and bring them back to 1989 (when the film was made).

The second film, released two years later in 1991, was called Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey. This one was much better than the first for me. In Bogus Journey, a resident of the future utopia is sick of the sights and sounds of Bill & Ted and sends a pair of Bill & Ted robot doubles back into the past to kill the dopey duo. Hoping to then make a future based on his own ideas. Bill & Ted are killed by their robot doubles and end up in hell where they meet the Grim Reaper (aka Death). They have to beat him at a game of their choice in order to get back to the real world. They manage to beat him at several games including Battleships, Twister and Cluedo. Death then allows them to leave hell and they go to heaven to find a clever scientist who can make more robot versions of themselves to kill the evil robots who had killed them. They then enter a  Battle of the Bands contest – with Death rocking the bass – where they must also rescue the princesses they are engaged to and start their musical careers.

All absolutely crackers but very funny if you like this sort of nonsense. And that’s the thing. I do. And after watching Bogus Journey only once, so does Dani. But it’s one of those things. You either love it or hate it.

Bill & Ted Face The Music

After almost thirty years the trilogy has finally been realised. The two main stars, Bill played by Alex Winter and Ted played by Keanu Reeves look quite good for their age. By now of course they are happily married to the princesses and each has a grown up daughter.

After all this time they have still not managed to write the one song to unite the planet and make the utopian future happen. The future leader sends her daughter back to inform them that they must come up with the song. It turns out that all of reality will fall apart unless they can write it before 7.17 pm that night. Bill & Ted decide the best way is to go into the future and meet their future selves who should by then have written the song. The can then take it back in time t the present and all will be restored. But their future selves are bigger losers than their present selves and the further into the future they go the worse it gets. Until they meet their very old selves who give them a USB stick containing the song.

Meanwhile their daughters realise they can help if they travel back in time and bring back some historical musicians – like Jimi Hendrix, Louis Armstrong and Mozart – to form a kind of history loaded super-group. They use the future leaders’ daughter’s time machine and head off back in time to assemble the band.

Meanwhile a robot is sent back in time to kill them in the hope that will save the earth/reality but that backfires as the robot accidentally kills the daughters and their newly formed band. Bill & Ted then have to go back to hell to rescue them. Nuts, but easy to watch.

Critique & Conclusions

After nearly thirty years of waiting for the trilogy of William (Bill) S. Preston Esquire and Ted (Theodore) Logan, was it worth paying to see?

Although there were some funny parts I felt it failed to live up to the second movie. But that often happens with trilogies. That said, it is  possibly on a par with the first movie so not a story destroying trilogy in the manner of say The Godfather. It is definitely worth watching if you are a fan of the first two movies. This is basically more of the same so if you liked the first movies then you will like this one too.

It was good to see ‘Death’ making a welcome return, with the same actor (William Sadler) playing the part – even though it was late in the movie. Plus there were a few of those “excellent” air guitar moments which make it all so daft. (Totally love those and now, so does Dani.) The two main actors play four versions of their future selves and those meetings are good fun. The pace of the movie was about right with all the time travel jaunts keeping you more than interested.

The biggest problem for me was the daughters. Their characters were weak and not very convincing. Especially Ted’s who is trying way too much to act like Keanu Reeves. I guess it’s like most movies now where female roles are required to be seen more, even if the actors can’t pull it off.

Overall I thought it was an acceptable “7 out of 10” kind of movie. Dani, a six year old, on the other hand loved it. So there you go. Make of that what you will.

This is what Dani thought of it; in one word!…

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